Drifting a bit from the topic I’ve been tracking but still there to a degree…some of the things I want to explore here will remain un-reconciled…I give myself permission to change my views as I grow.
Lately I have landed on the verses that speak of the completed work of Christ, often before the foundation of the world, there are plenty of them and much of the time we have gotten lost in debates about predestination and Calvinism, rather than explore the conceptual largeness of what these verses might imply…and this seems to be a problem of human nature in general, often we fail to see where the wonder can take us because we are intent on understanding before we go…probably due to eating from the wrong tree we no longer are quick to take the adventure path like children.
Yesterday I over-heard a conversation between 4 year Michaela and 2 1/2 year old Asher…he asked her if she wanted to fight (play obviously, at least I hope), her response was both sincere and profound:
“I just a kid I don’t fight people I just love people”
It makes sense in context of becoming like little children at least in order to even see the kingdom.
Where we begin has a lot to do with where we will end up…if you are trying to find your place in a symphony it helps to know what page everyone else is playing on…this of course is where most of us develop our awareness…it something Rene Girard will call “mimetec desire” and can be seen in children at play…when child B comes into the room the first thing they will notice is child A, the second thing they will notice is the toy closest to child A or the one they are playing with and suddenly what could have been a peaceful playroom erupts into a war over something child A probably could not have cared about until it was desired by child B.
The Big 10 will address this in the last commandment…”Don’t even desire stuff your neighbor has”…but this mimetic desire goes further than simply desiring things others want, in part because I believe we have disconnected with the true source we were meant to reflect, God, and because of that we are constantly trying to reflect whatever is most appealing or popular.
“Culture of Honor”, “Royalty”, “Revivalist”, “Dream Culture”, even “Wilderness” “Missional”…these are the most current mimetic desire banners and I wholly embrace them all without hesitation…
However…by following the popular hot words, we often (and by “we” I mean me), find ourselves distracted from the personal journey that could be unique to who we are in God.
I’ve been thinking a lot about placement…where am I? This question has invaded my world like the voice of God calling out to Adam, “Where you be Bro?”…some of it is the result of disconnect from traditional sources of “mimetic desire” the Pastoral team I was on, the assignment of leading worship for more than a decade, the love I had and have of that engagement, especially in terms of my identity as a psalmist, songwriter and lover of Gods Presence, in corporate and other settings.
As I go to scripture, and more importantly as I go to the Lord, He is directing me to a place in Him that I was assigned before the creation of this whole lopsided mess we call life.
Apparently God see’s me in Jesus long before I lose me in Adam…and you can only “lose” something that belongs…no one loses a “wild animal”, only something that has become a prized possession can truly be lost…and to the point WE have GPS technology that can find cars and phones…what kind of God could ever lose anything in a world He made, unless it is simply lost in its own awareness?
So many verses talk about being “In Him”, having “All truth”, and even when Pete writes in 2 Peter 1:16-21 I will find scripture, and prophetic input serving as simply “flash-lights” until the real light dawns INSIDE my heart…so frankly where I am geographically, or politically, or evangelically, or culturally seem to have almost no relevance once the light shines up inside me.
There is a place I am to occupy, that somehow I already occupy and should remain…almost as if Brother Lawrence was right or something.
I gotta talk about repentance for a minute…it is something that has saved me and beat me up as well…recently some of my historical studies of how we got what we got when we got it, has turned up some rather significant understandings of this word in my experience and the church culture at large.
I have lept into a practice of repentance since leaving my last institutional church, primarily because I hate pain, I hate experiencing it, but more I hate causing it…and being a bit of a wild olive branch grafted in I tend to say and do things that in a domestic environment can be harmful, especially when I am passionate…which is about 99% of the time. So I’ve spent about a year repenting of my sins, the sins of my fathers, my generational sin, taking cues from Paul Cox and Arthur Burk doing my best to clean up historical/land/time/generational trauma that would help me create a train wreck…which I did.
But lately (here comes the big but, everybody has one)…as I delve into the actual meaning of the word, the Greek, and look at the history of my current understanding of its usage I have discovered that the Latin Vulgate crowd, King Jimmy and close to a 1000 years or more of empire based definitions have colored what perhaps is a much simpler word than we have made it.
The current version “repentance” basically tells us to make penance again…which is completely unlike the “meta-nou” word used in the New testament…I have even heard very popular and powerful prophetic people use the word to say “Re-go back to: Pent, the penthouse, the highest thought”…which can kind of get us there but is still not the Greek…
The idea of penance, and even doing penance again has roots in an Empire system of thinking that places all the energy and effort on us and kind of flies in the way Jesus would often use the word…and this “re-penance” has bought and paid for more than one or two Cathedrals in the world…it has bought and paid for entire ministry machines and systems of control…it feeds on guilt and shame and leaves us hungry for a world yet to come…creating and feeding even more “distance and delay” than we had before we started.
The Greek really means to “think it over again, with a new mind, or new thinking”…
So really if I use the word the way the Greek uses the word, it will mean that I am to have a completely different thought than the one I have been having…and as I trace to the design of this, it ends up on the idea that I am to think the way God thinks, which is so much higher than the way I think…in other words the thoughts I am to have about Mark Pixley, should be the exact same thoughts that God has of Mark Pixley…and this is a bit harder than it looks since as I go to the Bible to see what God thinks, He somehow thinks He has placed me far above all powers and principalities, in heavenly places, filled with the fullness of Christ (who was filled with the fullness of God)…what?
Say that again?
I am complete in Christ, I have all truth, I have need of no one teach me, I am seated far above, I am one with Him as He is one with the Father, I am included and sanctified and filled with love and all things are mine?
You almost want to cuss right here…it seems to big.
But apparently that is what God thinks…someone want to argue with Him?
I recently posted that the only difference between you and Jesus was He knows his exact place in the Father and you (we) don’t…that’s it…and if like 2 Cor. says, you have died with Him, and have been raised with Him, then you are currently in the same place of favor and honor and revival, and royalty and mission that He is in.
The only thing hanging you up is your awareness of it.
That means your awareness might be the the bottle-neck…ya think?
What if the only difference between the me that causes train-wrecks and the me that loves like Jesus is an awareness of where I am?
What if the only difference between me wallowing in doubt, and me boldly declaring Gods purpose in love is an awareness of a reality not visible, but perhaps revealed in mystic prayer?
What if everything He said to you is real? Whadda you gonna do with that?
When I repent, I don’t generally find God all that interested in talking about something that He said was “finished”…He seems intent on talking about my righteousness, the ability to stand with Him as an equal…I know that’s hard to swallow, but for crying out loud why do we think He created us, so He can show off to dumb powerless peons?
ALL of the disciples healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, and cast out demons even the one who was stealing money from the offering plate…this was BEFORE he breathed on them after the resurrection and did what God did in Garden #1…breathed the breathe of God into a man and he became something…something capable of sharing in His creation and hanging out in the cool of the day to talk shop…
Remember the Jews, the ones who got really pissed off because Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic that was lowered down? Remember what they said?
“Only God can forgive sins”
Basic Hebraic first century thinking…and then Jesus does the unthinkable…he tells these disciples he has just breathed on: “Whoever sins you forgive are forgiven, whoever sins you retain are retained”
What kind of deal is this?, its almost like He wants us equal to Him or something…
I think He wants fellowship…that means creating something that can share and enjoy and appreciate the same things…which means we are much more than we are aware of.
No plan B
Last night I had one of those epiphany moments where the Lord spoke to me and said “Mark there is no plan B, because Plan A is perfect”…that means that nothing I do can derail His purpose, if it does anything at all it simply delays it a bit and makes me frustrated in the process, but even that serves Him…
So like Simba in the picture above, everything changes when my awareness changes, but truthfully that’s the only thing that needs to change…when I see the image of my Father reflected in me then I can do the things He does…
This has great significance in the areas of faith and prayer and hope…I am only responsible to be aware of what He is doing…even in issues of sin and train wrecks…if I simply adjust my way of thinking to His way of thinking the entire thing begins to take on a different metric…because there is no plan B, only a perfect plan A to make me like Him.
Of course this raises more questions than it answers…which seems to be what an encounter with Him always does…your mileage may vary.